Slight rise for national home price index

By Steve Randall

Home prices increased very slightly in April according to a leading measure of national markets.

The Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index; which marks price changes based on a score of 100 set in June 2005; was up 0.2% from the previous month to 218.13.

It was the fourth smallest in the index’s 20-year history behind the recession year of 2009, and 2013 and 2015.

Eight of the 11 metros surveyed posted gains, Quebec City (1.5% to 179.10), Hamilton (0.8% to 225.11), Halifax (0.6% to 146.70), Vancouver (0.3% to 288.19), Edmonton (0.3% to 176.88), Toronto (0.2% to 236.78), Montreal (0.2% to 167.54) and Victoria (0.2% to 201.44). There was no change for Calgary (180.17) while Ottawa-Gatineau (−0.1% to 149.62) and Winnipeg (−0.8% to 204.29) saw declining prices.

On an annual basis, the index was up 5.62% with Vancouver (15.89%) and Victoria (11%) leading. Toronto was up just 1.89%.

More moderate rises ahead for balanced markets
“After a difficult H2 2017, the Composite Index has stabilized in recent months (top chart). Moderate rises will likely continue to characterize the Composite index over the coming months, as conditions in the two major constituent home resale markets, Toronto and Vancouver, are now balanced (current active-listings–to-sales ratios close to their long-term average),” commented Marc Pinsonneault, National Bank’s senior economist.

“Let’s recall that over the last two preceding years, conditions in both markets were very tight, triggering double-digit percentage increases in the Composite index on a y/y basis. We do not think that market conditions will deteriorate significantly from now on in both markets, as sales seem to have stabilized lately,” he added.

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